Many public officials are calling for increased testing for the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and some governments have taken extraordinary measures to increase the availability of testing. However, little has been published about the sensitivity and specificity of the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) nasopharyngeal swabs that are commonly used for testing.
As an emergency and wellness physician, scientist, father, and 55-year-old man, I have a keen interest in the coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19/severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV2 illness. Based on all I have heard from the scientific community, a review of the literature, and a review of historical facts related to other epidemics, I believe we are missing some key points, particularly with regard to how we are approaching prevention of morbidity and mortality.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the limited surge capacity of the healthcare system is being quickly overwhelmed. Similar scenarios play out when an institution’s systems fail, or when local or regional disasters occur. In these situations, it becomes necessary to use one or more alternative care sites (ACS).
In disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to use all available resources to bolster our healthcare workforce. Many factors go into this process, including selecting the groups of professionals we will need, streamlining their licensing and credentialing processes, identifying appropriate roles for them, and supporting their health and well-being.
The ongoing spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has created significant concerns often leading to panic throughout the world as to its virulence and lethality. Regularly published media track newly infected patient rates and deaths further driving public panic, which invariably leads to people seeking information.
The global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to worsen and has become one of the largest clinical and operational challenges faced by emergency medicine since its inception as a specialty. As the virus spreads across the United States, our emergency departments (ED) continue to see increased volumes of infected patients, many of whom are not only critically ill, but acutely aware and fearful of their circumstances and potential mortality.
Across the world, efforts are underway to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. These include social distancing efforts such as working from home and meeting via teleconferences.8 The nature of public safety both necessitates that first-responder personnel be present at the station and requires vigilance to keep them healthy to provide essential services to the community. As a result, the fire station represents a front line in the COVID-19 mitigation efforts.